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Impossible Yet Simple

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MARK 10:13-31

As we come to Mark 10, Jesus Christ is standing under the cruel shadow of the cross.

Ch. 11 triumphal entry Ch. 12 final parables Ch. 13 Olivet Ch. 14 Judas – Gethsemane Ch. 15 Pilate and cross and tomb Ch. 16 resurrection

That’s seven days in 5 chapters.

And with that climax to 3 1/2 years drawing nearer, on His way to the cross and His death, still He had time for people, time to explain God’s wondrous plan of salvation to: Little people Urgent people Questioning people

In our 18 verses of this portion we study this morning our Lord talks about salvation. He uses three illustrations from everyday life:

v. 13-16 children = illustration * salvation is so simple that it’s childlike

v. 17-22 rich young ruler = illustration *salvation is so expensive that it’s a free gift

v. 23-31 camel = illusration *salvation is so supernatural that it’s impossible

So, let’s listen to Christ talking about the simple, expensive, supernatural salvation.

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I. Jesus on the way to the cross and death, the cruel shadow is always near, yet He had time for the kids!

What is the essence of childlike faith? Of such is the Kingdom of God.

1. Humility — humble dependence 2. Obedience — receptivity to others 3. Trust — accepting of selves and position in life. — accepting authority — unsuspecting of people 4. Short memory/forgiving & forgetting

An old giant of the faith put it like this:

“We enter God’s kingdom by faith, like little children: helpless, unable to save ourselves, totally dependent on the mercy and grace of God. We enjoy God’s kingdom by faith, believing that the Father loves us and will care for our daily needs. What does a child do when he or she has a hurt or a problem? Take it to Father and Mother! What an example for us to follow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father! Yes, God wants us to be childlike, but not childish!

“There is no suggestion here that Jesus baptized these children, for Jesus did not even baptize adults (John 4:1-2). If the disciples had been accustomed to baptizing infants, they certainly would not have turned the people away. Jesus took these precious little one in His loving arms and blessed them–and what a blessing that must have been!”

So, salvation is so simple. You must come like a child — simply and humbly.

II. Lesson two on salvation: It’s so expensive that no one can buy it. It’s given away as a free gift. Think of it”

A rich young aristocrat (who could earn it) falling at the feet of the penniless prophet from Nazareth who was fast becoming an outlaw.

Read vs. 17-22: — sin is rebellion against God in the heart — superficial view – outward, not inward.

So, salvation costs God so much it can’t be bought but only received as a gift!

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III. Finally, Lesson #3. Read vs. 23-31. Salvation is supernatural, it’s by God, so it is impossible for man to accomplish.

“Money to enter the Kingdom of God” Aristotle — “all things whose value is measured by coinage”
v. 23-27 Dangers of materialism (material possessions)
(1) tend to fix a person’s heart to this world. (2) tend to make him think of all in terms of price, not value. (3) tend to carry a high, enduring price: (A) show heart — often make people arrogant, proud, self-satisfied and worldly. (B) demonstrate responsibility. Determine reward: 2 Tim. 4 – how got and how used.

V. 28-31 Christ is no man’s debtor…

Paul left all but gained more. Rev. 16:13 Mom, Phil. 10 son. There was not a city in Europe or Asia Minor where he could not find a welcoming home, a waiting, family, looking to help him.

(1) what he gives, one hundred-fold, reward 10,000% (2) Christ added: (A) And persecutions = Christ utterly honest. No easy way, no bribe, only challenge. (B) And the world to come = not the rewards of time, materialism, etc., but blessing of eternity. 3) warning: pride: Peter calculated great worth. Judgments heaven may upset reputations on earth.

So, Christ gives three illustrations or lessons of salvation:

1. Childlike faith — helpless total dependence upon the sacrifice of Christ and the grace of God. It that why you came? Any less unacceptable.

2. Free gift — it’s so expensive you can’t touch it. We fall short. So we receive a gift by faith through the grace of God.

3. Impossible work in us — only God can do it! Have you let Him begin a good work? Only He can finish it